Impact Localization in Composites Using Time Reversal, Embedded PZT Transducers, and Topological Algorithms
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Time reversal is a powerful imaging processing technique that focuses waves at their original source using a single receiver transducer when diffusive wave field conditions are met. This has been successfully proved on various engineering components and materials using elastic waves with surface bonded transducers. This paper investigates the performance of time reversal for the localization of impact sources on fiber reinforced plastic composite structures with embedded piezoelectric sensors. A topologic approach, here named as minimum average method, is proposed to enhance the accuracy of time reversal in retrieving the impact location. Experimental tests were carried out to validate the robustness and reliability of time reversal against traditional topological approaches by altering impulsive responses contained in the baseline signals. Impact localization results revealed that time reversal and the new topological approach provided high accuracy in identifying the impact location, particularly in the presence of double impacts and material damage, which were not accounted during the initial training process. Results indicate that time reversal with embedded transducers has potential to be effective in real operating conditions, where alterations of acoustic emission responses in the baseline signals are less predictable.